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Health

Crystal Tears for an Aching Stomach

It is not an accident that the stomach reacts to stress and pressure… It’s a very central part of the body where pressure and agitation, both psychological and physical, accumulate.

The solar plexus chakra, near the stomach area, is also important. It is responsible for self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as helping you feel in control of your life. Beyond this theoretical overall approach to those parts of the body, we can also look at both temporary and chronic conditions that affect them.

Thankfully, there are many treatments, medicinal or not, that help, but one that stands out for many reasons is the simple, humble genuine mastic: Mastic from the island of Chios.

Since ancient times, many people have associated the island of Chios with mastic or even called the island by the name ‘mastic’. The ‘schinos’ plant family (Pistacia lentiscus) are shrubs that grow in the dry and rocky areas of the Mediterranean and have a strong resinous smell. One particular variety, which grows only in the southern part of the island of Chios, is the authentic mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus var. chia). That plant grows and produces mastic, the resin of the tree which is due to the location and the method of harvesting, and it results in a unique product.

In the so-called Mastic Villages, from father to son, specific traditional techniques are passed down, as these trees can live up to five generations. Small superficial ‘wounds’ on the branches and trunk injure the tree, which produces this resin to heal itself. The ‘tears of the mastic tree’ have given value to this remote island for thousands of years.

Ancient sayings and remedies have now been confirmed for mastic. Those tears, after processing or eaten raw, will treat stomach and intestinal problems and kill bacteria. They can also be used as a fragrance for perfumery and cosmetics, and for taste and texture in bakeries and pastry shops.

Mastic is also the first documented gum in the world to be used for dental cleaning and  for healing wounds in the mouth.

According to tradition, Saint Isidore, martyred by the Romans, fled to the southern villages of Chios. He was seriously wounded, and as soon as he sat under a mastic tree, the tree pitied him and started ‘crying’ fragrant tears. Since then, these tears have traveled to the five continents of the world to heal wounds.

An nice and easy way to enjoy the taste of mastic is in a beverage! Mint and ginger are a nice combination with mastic, as well as chamomile. All together, they work synergistically for a unique response to various problems from sensitive intestines to heartburn and indigestion.

It can easily be added to a dessert, as a flavoring, aiding digestion. But a dessert is a dessert. The raw mastic tears can be broken up and mixed with sugar and added as a topping with cream on strawberries! Add some biscuits and serve!

 * The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics, MSc in Botany-Biology and MSc in Horticulture & Viticulture

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